I recently shared with the ladies at a morning meditation out of Paul David Tripp’s New Morning Mercies devotional that we were all designed to live in community with others, but we cannot look to people to provide for us what only God can provide. This illusion that someone – a spouse, a child, a parent or even a friend can give us the life we are looking for, ultimately places a burden on someone that no human relationship can bear.
Prior to moving to Nashville 3 years ago, I led a weekly bible study in Dallas at one of their county jails. Similar to being with the ladies at The Next Door, the most meaningful times were when the ladies would open up and share some of their story. We all have a story. Many of our stories overlap and have similar themes. Many times I can see the common bond we have, the human struggle, the reality that we are only a few decisions away from very different circumstances.
Paul David Tripp lists these powerful truths:
- No person can be the source of your identity
- No one can be the basis of your happiness
- No individual can give you a reason to get up in the morning & continue
- No loved one can be the carrier of your hope
- No one is able to change you from the inside out
- No human being can alter your past
- No person is able to atone for your wrongs
- No one can give your heart peace & rest
I explained that oftentimes we focus on the fact that we want other people to change – those people that we have placed too great of a burden on to meet our own needs. It is so easy for us to put people in God’s place – propelling us to disappointment as a result of our unrealistic and unattainable expectations.
We have to look vertical to Jesus for our deepest needs. When we tap into the power that only God can give us to meet our desire for security and strength for the battles we face, then our human relationships are enhanced. Only God can save you, change you, and deliver you from you.
One young woman hung around as everyone exited the room and softly told me that these thoughts I shared with her gave her a new revelation. She explained that she realized she had pushed her boyfriend out of her life – she had been so mean to him because she was placing too big of a burden on him and he wasn’t able to measure up. She pushed him away before he was able to learn about her pregnancy of 12 weeks. She said she was going to write him a letter that day and I encouraged her to do just that. So I have hope that a broken relationship was brought back to life and Jesus took his proper place in that client’s heart that day…
Heather Crane is a volunteer and serves on the Board for The Next Door. She chaired our first Golf Tournament in April and will co-chair our annual luncheon in October.